Erika Dagnino

SLAM PRODUCTIONS

 

 

THE ENGLISH LABEL OF GEORGE HASLAM

 

 

 

 

(Italy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erika Dagnino  presents

 

 

Festival  at The Royal British Legion – Abingdon (UK) with G.Haslam,  S. Pastor, S. Kershaw, photo by Beryl Murphy.

 

 

INTERVIEW  WITH

 GEORGE HASLAM

 

 

 

 

ED. : – English musician, George Haslam*, already active on British scene of 60s, has made the saxophone and the tarogato, this one not so used in jazz, his two first instruments of expression: moving between traditional languages and areas nearer to the avant-guarde. He has done collaborations with a number of important artists such as Lol Coxhill, Steve Lacy, Charlie Mariano, Borah Bergman. Now he performs often in Europe, Latin America and USA.

 

As he tells us in the following lines his interest in free jazz developed more and more in 70s when he founded The Siger Band and, after two albums for the Spotlite label,  in 1989 he founded his own label SLAM, which is still active and gives voice to the most important avant-guarde exponents of Britain and many more countries.

 

GH.: – In the 1980’s I made 2 vinyl albums on the Spotlite label with my group ‘The Siger Band’; the free jazz style of The Siger Band was not the sort of music associated with Spotlite – a label created to release recordings by Charlie Parker. In 1989 I wanted to record some free solo improvisations; I knew this would not be right for Spotlite so I sought advice on producing a self release CD. In the end I did it with trombonist Paul Rutherford, we played solos and duets. The CD was “1989 – and all that” and was followed by a second CD “The Holywell Concert”.

 

 

 

   

Paul Rutherford

 

 

 

Howard Riley and Elton Dean then approached me about releasing a set by their quartet ‘on my label’. Only then did I think of it as ‘a label’.  Their CD “All The Tradition” was a great success and quickly sold out.

 

I have enjoyed very much getting to know a lot of music and musicians by releasing their CDs and I believe the work has helped to preserve and make available a lot of excellent music.

 

 
George Haslam quintet:
 

 

 

 

 

ED.:-  Can you tell us what kind of music you spread through your label?

 

GH.: – The kind of music on SLAM is predominately free jazz/improvised music. I personally enjoy a range of music styles and genres and I’ve been pleased to include in the SLAM catalogue CDs of modern jazz, standards/mainstream, jazz vocals, Latin jazz and world music.

 

Unfortunately record labels, like musicians, tend to be pigeon holed and some great music on SLAM has not always reached the public’s ear because it is not the style of music associated with this label.

 

ED. : – What do you think about the free jazz life. And levels of freedom  in the free music?

 

GH. :- The SLAM slogan is ‘FREEDOM OF MUSIC’ –  free is free  – that means the musician is free to express exactly how he feels, maybe to experiment or even to call on traditional sources. Such a performer will be influenced by many circumstances – the venue, the audience, his state of mind etc. so maybe he is not ‘free’ – but I say he is free to incorporate these influences in his performances; he is not bound by black dots on the paper before him.

 

To me, melody and rhythm are important elements of music so I tend to use them in performing improvised music – but that is a personal choice. During performance at a recent free jazz concert in Italy I went into a section of melodic improvisation – in the style of a free ballad. It was interesting that afterwards 3 people asked me about it “Was it free jazz?” they asked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have played many years in Argentina and the rhythms native to that country are very exciting. The Argentine musicians freely use and adapt these ethnic rhythms and it is great for improvising over. We call it ‘etno-jazz’.

 

ED. :- Can you talk us about two of your artists?

 

GH. : – There are currently over 150 CDs in the SLAM catalogue – almost 1,000 musicians, including many prominent originators and creators of the music; I hesitate to select 2 artists from such an assembly. However, if pushed, my mind would turn to 2 musicians who are no longer with us – Paul Rutherford and Mal Waldron. Two guys from very different backgrounds and with quite different philosophies. I worked extensively with both, getting to know them as friends and musicians, learning that their approach to the music had much in common. Both had conception, originality, creativity and a powerful musical presence. Their music was always immediately identifiable … and unique. Working with these musicians I learnt a great deal about music and life.

 

 

 

 

Mal Waldron

 

 

 

 

 

 

SLAM PRODUCTIONS, LA CASA DISCOGRAFICA INGLESE DI GEORGE HASLAM.

 

 

di Erika Dagnino

 

 

 

ED. :- Musicista inglese George Haslam*, già attivo sulla scena britannica degli anni ‘60, ha fatto e fa del sassofono e del tarogato, quest’ultimo non usualmente frequentato nel jazz, i suoi strumenti primi d’espressione;  muovendosi tra linguaggi tradizionali e territori più prossimi all’avanguardia. Vantando collaborazioni con grandi nomi tra cui Lol Coxhill, Steve Lacy, Charlie Mariano, Borah Bergman. Performando attualmente in Europa, America Latina e USA. Come lui stesso ci racconta di seguito, interessandosi sempre più al free jazz negli anni ’70 forma ‘The Siger Band’, e, dopo due album per l’etichetta Spotlite, nel 1989 fonda la casa discografica Slam tuttora attiva e che dà voce ai maggiori esponenti dell’avanguardia, britannica e di molti altri Paesi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GH.: – Negli anni ottanta ho realizzato due album in vinile per l’etichetta Spotlite con il mio gruppo ‘The Siger Band’; ma lo stile free jazz della Band non poteva allinearsi pienamente con il genere musicale della Spotlite – label creata per pubblicare le registrazioni di Charlie Parker. Nel 1989 ho avuto desiderio di registrare alcune improvvisazioni free in solo; sapevo che non sarebbero andate bene per la Spotlite, quindi mi interessai a come avrei potuto pubblicare autonomamente una mia opera. Attuandone la concretizzazione insieme al trombonista Paul Rutherford, suonando in solo e in duo. Il CD era ‘1989 – and all that’  seguito poi da un secondo CD ‘The Holywell Concert’.

 

In seguito, Howard Riley ed Elton Dean si rivolsero a me per pubblicare un set del loro quartetto ‘con la mia label’. Solo allora l’ho pensata come ‘una label’. Il loro CD “All The Tradition” fu un grande successo e velocemente venduto.

 

Ero molto soddisfatto di conoscere molta musica e molti musicisti pubblicando i loro CD; credo che il lavoro abbia contribuito a preservare e a rendere disponibile molta musica eccellente.

 

ED.:- Può parlarci di quale musica diffonde la sua casa discografica?

 

GH.: – I tipi di musica di cui la SLAM si occupa principalmente sono il free jazz e la musica improvvisata. Personalmente amo un’ampia gamma di stili e generi musicali e sono stato onorato di includere nel catalogo della SLAM CD di modern jazz, standard/mainstream, jazz vocals, Latin jazz e world music. Sfortunatamente le case discografiche, come i musicisti, tendono a essere relegate in spazi ristretti e molta grande musica della SLAM non ha sempre raggiunto l’orecchio del pubblico non essendo lo stile di musica associato con questa label.

 

ED.:- Che cosa pensa riguardo alla vita del free jazz. E riguardo ai livelli di libertà nella musica free?

 

GH.: –  Lo slogan della Slam è ‘FREEDOM OF MUSIC’ – libero significa libero – i musicisti sono liberi di esprimere esattamente ciò che sentono, forse per sperimentare o anche per richiamarsi alle fonti e ripercorrere in nuovo modo il solco della tradizione.

 

Così un performer sarà influenzato da molte circostanze – luogo, pubblico, stato mentale, etc. quindi forse non è in senso stretto ‘libero’– ma sostengo che sia libero di incorporare queste influenze nel corso delle sue performance, non essendo vincolato dalla musica scritta.

 

Per me melodia e ritmo sono elementi importanti della musica, quindi tendo a usarli durante le performance di musica improvvisata – ma questa è una scelta personale.

 

Durante una performance a un recente concerto free jazz in Italia entrai in una sezione di improvvisazione melodica – nello stile di una free ballad. La cosa interessante fu che in seguito tre persone mi interrogarono riguardo a ciò, chiedendo: ‘Cosa è il free jazz?’.

 

Ho suonato molti anni in Argentina e i ritmi nativi di quel Paese sono molto emozionanti. I musicisti argentini usano liberamente e adattano questi ritmi etnici ed è un grande tessuto sul quale improvvisare. Chiamiamo questo ‘etno-jazz’.

 

 

 

 

 

ED.:-  Può parlarci di due artisti presenti nel catalogo della SLAM?

 

 

 
Haslam hurtado straijer jazz trio:
 

 

 

 

 

GH.:-  Attualmente ci sono oltre 150 CD nel catalogo della SLAM – quasi 1.000 musicisti, compresi molti preminenti iniziatori e creatori di musica; esito a selezionare due artisti da un tale gruppo. Comunque, il mio pensiero potrebbe rivolgersi a due musicisti che non sono più tra noi – Paul Rutherford e Mal Waldron. Due persone con  un background molto diverso e filosofie piuttosto differenti. Ho lavorato intensamente con entrambi, venendo a conoscerli come amici e come musicisti, imparando che il loro approccio alla musica aveva molto in comune. Entrambi possedevano concetto, originalità, creatività e una potente presenza musicale. La loro era una musica sempre identificabile immediatamente…e unica. Lavorando con loro ho imparato una grande lezione di musica e di vita.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*George Haslam (b. February 22, 1939, Preston, Lancashire) is an English avant-garde jazz saxophonist. Haslam’s horns of choice are the baritone saxophone and the tárogató.

Haslam performed in the free improvisational scene around London from the late 1960s, but did not begin recording until the 1980s. His first recording was issued in 1984, having been recorded while on tour in Hungary. His ensemble, called the Siger Band, included Paul RutherfordPete McPhailTony Moore, and Nigel Morris. He played in Mexico in 1986 and in Cuba soon after; his was the first British jazz ensemble to play in the latter country.[1] He won the same distinction in Argentina before the end of the decade, and has returned repeatedly to this country to perform and record. He founded Slam Records in 1989 to issue his own music; the label also releases material by Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron, among others. During this time his collaborations included work with Lol Coxhill, Paul Hession, Laszlo GardonyRuben Ferrero, and Evan Parker.

Haslam founded the British Saxophone Quartet in 1992, with Paul DunmallElton Dean, and Simon Picardrounding out the membership. He also founded an ensemble called Meltdown in 1997, which issued its first record in 2001.

 

 

Discography

  • The Siger Band Live in Hungary (Spotlite Records, 1984)
  • 1989 – And All That (Slam Records, 1989)
  • Out of School (Slam, 1989)
  • Level Two (Slam, 1992)
  • Waldron-Haslam with Mal Waldron (Slam, 1994)
  • Argentine Adventures, Vol. 1 (Slam, 1994?)
  • Two New with Mal Waldron (Slam, 1995)
  • Argentine Adventures, Vol. 2 (Slam, 1996)
  • Communications (Slam, 1998)
  • Duos:East West (Slam, 1998)
  • Argentine Adventures, Vol. 3 (Slam, 1999)
  • Harmonance (Slam, 1999)
  • Meltdown (Slam, 2001)
  • Pendle Hawk Carapace (Slam, 2002)
  • The Mahout (Slam, 2004)
  • Freetime 2002*2003*2004 (Slam, 2005)

 

  

 

 

HOMEPAGE: www.georgehaslam.com/

 

  

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Writer and poet Erika Dagnino has contributed to literary and music magazines. 

Her musical collaborations include the CD liner notes for Anthony Braxton’s Italian Quartet, Standards (2006), recorded live at PP Café, Brussels and works with Italian avant-garde violinist Stefano Pastor, English saxophonist George Haslam and American pianist and composer Chris Brown.

She toured in Italy, England, France, USA performing at festivals and events like Clusone Jazz Festival (IT), 

The Evolving Voice Series (USA) ,The Abingdon Arts Festival (UK), Oxford Jazz Master Series (UK), Fiera del Libro 

di Torino (IT), COMA Show at ABC No-Rio (USA). 

She has performed in New York with Ken Filiano, Steve Dalachinsky, Dominic Duval, Satoshi Takeishi, Sarah Bernstein, Ras Moshe, Blaise Siwula, Jason Mears Josh Sinton, Kevin Farrell, Mike Pride, Chris Welcome, Reuben Radding, Harris Eisenstadt … also collaborating with the American poet Mark Weber and with a number of visual artists.

Her poetry, fiction and drama have appeared in various anthologies and have won several awards. Her latest works include Ru e Fro, Gèr e Màl (novella), Cycles (mixed media, with Stefano Pastor and with English translation by Anthony Barnett), Racconti dell’ombra (short stories), I canti dell’occhio; Dal fondo del metallo; Motions and Narcéte (poetry) and Nel gesto, nel suono. La percezione-decifrazione dell’evento musicale, a book of interviews with professional musicians from different countries.

 

ERIKA DAGNINO – Poète performeur, écrivain.

Collaborations artistiques à différents magazines culturels et littéraires, ainsi qu’à un bon nombre de revues de recherche musicale. Elle fait des lectures performances, en travaillant souvent  avec le violoniste d ‘avant-garde, et de free jazz, Stefano Pastor. Des tournées de lecture, des spectacles de performance lyrique et musicale dans le monde entier, des CDs enregistrés, des livres publiés.

Elle a également collaboré avec des artistes visuels, avec le poète et musicien anglais Anthony Barnett, le poète américain Mark Weber. Elle a reçu des prix importants: prix nationaux et internationaux pour sa poésie, sa littérature de fiction et son théâtre. Ses poèmes sont publiés dans plusieurs anthologies.

Ses oeuvres sont traduites et publiées dans plusieurs pays.

 

For Contact:

erika.dagnino@alice.it ; dagnino_erika@libero.it ; www.erikadagnino.it

 

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